NG+ GOTY 2013 – Matt’s Top Three

January 9, 2014

This week, the New Game Plus cast and crew will be revealing their games of the year. Today, our resident stream monster Matt talks about his top three games of the year.

Man, there’s no better time to be excited for video games than now. If you’re not convinced yet, all you have to do is rewind back to the beginning of 2013. Remember those exciting console announcements from February and March? Not to mention the countless developers who have wrung every last inch of horsepower from the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to produce bona fide console swansongs, burning a nicely-sized hole in our collective gaming wallets and purses!

Even though the next generation has well and truly hit the ground running, I thought I’d take a step back and reflect on the smorgasbord of gaming bliss that was bestowed upon us this year.

NGP GOTY - Matt - MSF2

Hee hee, I absolutely fell in love with this one! WayForward has pumped out a lot of hits in the past few months but Mighty Switch Force! 2 definitely took the cake. Mechanically, nothing much had changed from the previous title; you still had to rescue five girls in an assortment of puzzling levels chock full of constant background/foreground switching platforms. Why fix something that ain’t broke, right?

Instead, WayForward provided enough cosmetic alteration to differentiate itself from the original title. A red motif, more stages, secrets to plunder and a new weapon in the form of a water gun changed the way players dispatched enemies and approached particular situations.

Look no further for the 3DS’ quintessential puzzle-platformer of the year!

NGP GOTY - Matt - Revengeance

[Watch New Game Plus’ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance review]

Relatively early in the year after playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, I felt that learning the art of Zandatsu (“cut and take”) would remain an unforgettable experience. Fast forward a few more months and that view hasn’t changed since.

One of the hallmarks of this title was Blade Mode, where the player engages in slow motion sequences slicing objects and enemies with utmost finesse via the right analog stick. To ensure Blade Mode remained more than just a gimmick, players are required to finish most enemies off by slicing particular body parts or weak points.

With it’s easy to pick up and parry mechanics, unforgiving ‘Revengeance’ difficulty mode and thumping soundtrack that appeals to my 13 year old sensibilities (I mean that in the most positive sense possible), Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is arguably one of the best action endeavours of the year.

NGP GOTY - Matt - Last of Us

[Watch New Game Plus’ The Last of Us review]

Endure and survive. Endure and survive. I have The Last of Us to thank for those words ringing in my mind ever since its June release.

This console generation has been a huge step forward for third person shooters and adventure titles, and I can say in complete confidence that The Last of Us serves as the ultimate amalgamation of these genres. Characters zip to cover and use it automatically with excellent animation and fluidity. Action scenes and shootouts are slower paced but encourage flanking, strategic placement and deception of the enemy to emerge a survivor from the dangers of mutated monstrosities and desperate humans.

There is also a brilliantly told story found within The Last of Us, featuring a cast of fleshed-out characters extending far beyond the main duo Joel and Ellie, a harrowing yet lush post-apocalyptic depiction of urban and natural environments, as well as a narrative that never stops tugging the heart strings, leading to a very satisfying conclusion that feels undeniably human, for better or worse.

If you’re looking for a title that plays as well as its story is told, The Last of Us will satisfy both criteria immensely.

Come back tomorrow for more games of the year from the NG+ cast and crew, or check out some of our other GOTY lists.

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